LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 13: Floyd Mayweather Jr. celebrates his unanimous-decision victory over Marcos Maidana during their WBC/WBA welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 13, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

After decades of being at each others’ throats as the two biggest players in the boxing broadcast word, HBO and Showtime have joined forces for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view on May 2. But don’t confuse that for the equivalent of divorced parents reconciling; they are, after all, still sleeping in separate beds.

This weekend Showtime announced that it would air a four-part marketing/documentary series, “Inside Mayweather vs. Pacquiao,” focused mostly on Mayweather. HBO reportedly has its own plans, focused more exclusively on Pacquiao.

Some of this is probably about editorial independence and/or longstanding hostilities, even if the two sides have collaborated well on how the May 2 broadcast team will be assembled. But some of it might also be about Mayweather himself. When Mayweather fled HBO for Showtime, one of the many rumored reasons was that he had become disgruntled with his lack of control over how he was portrayed in HBO’s own market-umentary program, “24/7.” Mayweather wanted more shots of him pretend-calling 50 Cent on a “money phone,” say.

The result has been that, for Showtime’s “All Access” market-umentary program involving Mayweather, we actually got a “special” that featured Mayweather and his crew hanging out with strippers in an extended, graphic scene. So, everybody wins? And even when Mayweather threw Showtime under the bus when he landed in hot water with the Nevada State Athletic Commission over scenes from the most recent edition of “All Access.” Although Showtime folks were said to simmer about this, they also know Mayweather is their golden goose.

Perhaps keeping everything separate is for the best, if everyone is to get along well enough to make it to the May 2 finish line happily. After all, some of the sides in the Showtime vs. HBO feud are still maintaining animosity, such as in the below Twitter beef between Showtime’s Stephen Espinoza and Golden Boy Promotions’ Oscar De La Hoya, who now hangs out with HBO (his company had close ties with Showtime under the de facto guidance of Richard Schaefer, but Golden Boy found itself divided once De La Hoya tried to resume supremacy, and as a result of  the subsequent legal settlement, Showtime was airing some of De La Hoya’s disputed fighters Saturday night):


About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.

Comments are closed.